Electronic systems have made modern automobiles safer, more reliable, faster, and easier to drive than ever before. This applies to high-end sports cars too, with the unintended consequence of transforming them into cold, calculated speed machines. Then there's the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT, as filled with cutting-edge technology as anything you'd care to mention, but without sacrificing its soul.
You'll Like The 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT If...
When it comes to performance bragging rights, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT can bench race with the best of them. Yet it also pairs those physical abilities with an inimitable dose of driving passion and visceral engagement. Simply put, the AMG GT is much more than simply an instrument of speed.
You May Not Like The 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT If...
On the other hand, if pure speed is what you're looking for, there are other choices. The 2017 Nissan GT-R, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or Porsche 911 Carrera 4S might be worth your consideration.
All-new last year, the Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S carry over largely unchanged for the 2017 model year, with additional models, including convertibles, planned for 2018.
The seats skew toward the firm side, but thanks to power-adjustable leg and side bolsters they do an admirable job of holding you in place during spirited driving. The unique-yet-minimally-functional center console nestled between the seats is designed to resemble a V8 engine's layout. Explore the space, and you can alter things like drive modes, suspension firmness and exhaust volume. On the practical side, the GT’s rear hatch opens to reveal a very respectable 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space, enough to accommodate two golf bags.
The AMG GT follows the SLS in the AMG lineup, and while not a direct descendent its seductively sculpted lines and elegantly edgy proportions clearly recall that gull-winged coupe. But beyond that, they're reminiscent of other Mercedes-Benz sports cars dating back nearly a half-century (see Mercedes 190SL, 300SL). The long hood, short deck, functional side vents and retractable rear spoiler produce a look so special that it spawned a new hyphenated subdivision dubbed Mercedes-AMG.
AMG models have been criticized for years for their punishing ride on the average potholed American road, so you'd think a dedicated sports car like the GT would be even worse. Surprise! It's quite livable around town, yet when you pick up the pace, the GT grips tarmac unlike any vehicle ever to wear an AMG badge. There's 503 peak horsepower to play with -- a lot for a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive package -- but the direct manner in which the GT S communicates to the driver through the seat, steering wheel and brakes makes every input impressively predictable. You get all the engine's torque before the 2,000-rpm mark, and power keeps surging in a dramatic-yet-orderly manner. Despite a wide turning circle, around town the AMG GT charms with comfortable touch points, a well-suppressed cabin that’s actually a shade quieter than that of a 911, and a surprising amount of storage space.
The 2017 AMG GT Coupe starts with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $112,000, including the $925 destination charge. The more powerful GT S starts higher, of course, at about $132,000. It's easy to add enough options to pay for a whole other car, with more than $40,000 of add-ons available. Yet despite that, the prices are in line with competition like the Audi R8 ($117,000), Jaguar F-Type R ($104,000), and high-end Porsche 911 models (Carrera S $104,000, 911 Turbo $151,000). If you want to know what people in your area paid for their Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S, check out KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price. Note that the GT's projected residual values trail those of its rivals, especially the Porsche and Audi.
Unlike the Porsche 911 -- which starts practically bare-bones until you begin ordering options -- the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT comes well-equipped. There are niceties like heated AMG performance seats with memory and wrapped in Nappa leather, keyless access and start, eight airbags, navigation with an 8.4-inch display and audio by Burmester, full LED headlights with automatic high beams, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control.
Of the options available for the 2017 GT, the one we recommend most highly is the blind-spot detection, thanks to the GT's limited rearward visibility. Other add-ons include a widened powerband suitable for race situations, matte-carbon-fiber interior trim, carbon-fiber exterior accents, softer leathers, and a panoramic sunroof. You can also choose from six staggered wheel options, and add lane-departure warning.
AMG HIGH-PERFORMANCE BRAKES
Going fast is easy. Stopping fast -- especially repeated hard stops -- is a lot harder. However, the massive 15.4-inch front brakes and their 6-piston calipers do an amazing job of bringing the GT S to a stop swiftly and smoothly in nearly every situation.
GT stands for "grand touring," and when you're not listening to the V8 engine's scream, you can relax with the standard Burmester audio system. With 10 speakers it boasts the crisp highs, clean mids, and hard-hitting lows expected of a top-tier audio system.
Under the Hood
The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 under that long hood comes in two forms. The GT gets a version that puts out 456 horsepower, while the GT S gets a 503-horsepower version. You can get 600 or more horsepower for less than $80,000 thanks to cars like the Corvette Z06 or Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and they can make the GT S’s 3.7-second 0-60 sprint and 193-mph top seem a bit underwhelming to the Vin Diesel types. But it's not just speed, it's the seamless, almost graceful way in which the GT and GT S deliver their power that distinguishes them from less expensive and decidedly less refined rivals. Power goes to the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that's so fast the tach needle barely keeps up.
4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (GT)
456 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (GT S)
503 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
579 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750- 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
Thanks to modern computers, today's supercars are safer, more reliable, faster and even easier to drive than ever before. Yet the consequence for many has been to transform these lustful machines into coldly calculated mega-speed appliances. Then there's the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT. It boasts all the modern high-end electronics, performance aids and driver assists as you'd care to mention. Yet the application of these has left room for one other thing so frequently lacking in modern automobiles: a soul. The AMG GT's vertigo-inducing acceleration, catlike cornering abilities, and aluminum body panels easily rival the Porsche 911 Carrera S, Jaguar F-Type R, Audi R8 V10 and anything else in the $110,000-to-$170,000 range, meaning it also has the biggest target on its back.